We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

DinoPC Plutosaur 650 review

£499 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dino PC

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The only system in the chart to feature a Core i5 processor, DinoPC’s i5-650-powered Plutosaur 650 budget desktop PC benefits from Turbo Boost.

The only system in the chart to feature a Core i5 processor, DinoPC’s i5-650-powered Plutosaur 650 budget desktop PC benefits from Turbo Boost.

Budget desktop PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s Core i3 processor has the sub-£500 PC category sewn up. This issue, we have examples ranging from the 3.06GHz Core i3-540 to the 3.33GHz Core i3-560. These dual-core chips have integrated graphics processors, allowing vendors to build a capable PC at lower cost by omitting a discrete graphics card.

AMD’s quad-core Phenom II X4 550 BE is another good choice of processor for a budget Windows machine, especially for those who like to tinker – this chip has been designed with overclocking in mind.

Memory: In the post-Vista era, 2GB of RAM is essential. The majority of sub-£500 PCs are now fitted with 4GB.

Some CPUs require DDR3 RAM, while others can use either this or DDR2. DDR3 memory is getting cheaper and bodes well for performance. Check your motherboard has free memory slots if you plan to upgrade later.

Storage: Falling prices mean that 1TB is well within the budget of even a budget PC. You can never have too much storage space, and digital media will quickly fill a reasonably sized drive. Hard-drive space is easy to add later, however.

If you’re planning to upgrade hard drives internally, ensure that you’ve got spare drive bays inside your PC’s case.

Get a drive that can write to the DVDKR formats at 16-speed or better. If you want to get 8.5GB on to one disc, get a drive that can write to dual-layer discs at 12- and eight-speed respectively.

Flat-panel: It’s the component you’ll be spending all your time looking at, but PC makers often compromise on the monitor.

All the PCs in our chart come with flat-panels. Good-quality full-HD monitors are now available even in sub-£500 systems. Expect to find a 21.5in model, although these are often marketed as 22in screens. It’s best to get one with dual inputs and a digital connection (DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort), letting you get the best image quality available and hook up additional devices.

Graphics card: With the best graphics cards retailing for more than £300, a sub-£500 PC is unlikely to satisfy a hardcore gamer. However, decent graphics cards get cheaper all the time, and budget PCs can now handle games that were unthinkable a few months ago.

Intel’s Core i3 and i5 CPUs come with integrated graphics processors that deliver around double the performance of older Intel integrated solutions. These machines support HD video and Windows’ Aero effects without the need for a separate graphics card.

ATI’s Radeon HD 5450 is a popular choice for a budget PC. It doesn’t offer a great speed advantage over Intel GMA integrated graphics, but it offers support for DirectX 11.0. Many cards can also drive multiple monitors, so you can hook up your TV and display at the same time.

If you really want to play games, nVidia’s GeForce GT 240 will provide some extra speed. Be prepared to lower your graphics settings to achieve smooth gameplay, however.

Power supply: Expect only a basic PSU at this price point. Without power-hungry components installed, there’s simply no need for a more powerful supply. A 450W or 500W model is a good starting point.

Sound card and speakers: You’re unlikely to get a standalone sound card at this price point. Most motherboards can handle six-channel sound.

NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

DinoPC Plutosaur 650 Expert Verdict »

3.2GHz Intel Core i5-650
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
4GB DDR3 RAM
500GB SATA
8 x USB 2.0
Asus P7H55-M SI motherboard
500W EZCool PSU
25in Hanns-G HH251DPB (0.28mm pixel pitch
1920x1080)
Intel GMA HD (Fear: 17fps)
onboard sound
2 x DinoPC speakers
22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
three-year return-to-base warranty
WorldBench 6 score: 131
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

If gaming isn’t your bag and you aren’t fussed about USB 3.0 support, DinoPC's Plutosaur 650 budget desktop PC offers a fantastic screen and very good Windows performance.

  • DinoPC Plutosaur 540 review

    DinoPC Plutosaur 540

    DinoPC’s Plutosaur 540 budget desktop PC delivers good Windows performance, and gaming framerates more than double those of the competition in our tests.

  • Dino PC Plutosaur 2400 review

    Dino PC Plutosaur 2400

    With decent components and a better-than-average monitor, the Dino PC Plutosaur 2400 is a solid business-focussed PC.

  • Arbico i3 5600 XL review

    Arbico i3 5600 XL

    Small but mighty, the 3.33GHz Core i3-560-powered Arbico i3 5600 XL budget desktop PC delivers the best Windows performance in the chart.

  • Dino PC Plutosaur 2500 review

    Dino PC Plutosaur 2500

    With 8GB of memory installed, Dino PC’s Plutosaur 2500 has double the RAM of any of the competition and delivered the fastest score in our WorldBench 6 speed test.

  • DinoPC Elmisaur 760 review

    DinoPC Elmisaur 760

    With the best all-round spec in the group, DinoPC’s Elmisaur 760 desktop PC delivers excellent performance and still costs £14 less than the competition.


IDG UK Sites

Amazon Fire HD 6 is a really good value tablet. The Amazon Fire HD 7 isn't. Amazon Fire HD 6 and...

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

ACLU's Halloween-themed animation warns of dangers of ignoring threats to your privacy

IDG UK Sites

20 lesser-known tips for Mac OS X Yosemite: use Yosemite like an expert